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03 SLS rear shocks

Daniel Evans

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Investigate exactly which suspension options your car was built with. The RPO code list is on the bottom surface of the spare tire cover.

FE3 is most likely - this is the non electronic suspenion

F45 is possible - this is the electronic version (also called CVRSS)

F55 is not likely in a SLS model - this is the magnaride version

Once you have the correct OEM or aftermarket shocks in your hands, it is a simple straight forward task.


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I once had "a leak in the shocks" in the rear, but at the next oil change it was dry.

Mechanics keep an oil can with brake fluid in it to lubricate bushings and some plastic fittings, rinse brake parts for assembly, etc. It's a common trick to squirt some on a shock and show that to the customer.

Leaking is a rare way for Cadillac rear shocks to go. More common is rust under the rubber boot on the shock tube.

But, there is a another simple fact: Cadillac shocks have a lot more damping when new than what is required to pass a bounce test. If your shocks have much more than 50,000 miles on them, you will get a great improvement in ride and handling with new shocks. Struts last longer but by 100,000 miles you can get a good improvement by changing them.

Cadillac struts and shocks will pass the bounce test forever.

But, to answer your question, your rear shocks will have air bags with hoses that connect to the leveling system, and electrical connectors if you have RSS. Other than those two connectors and the air bag, it's similar to other shock changes.

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The only issue I have with them is the J clips get rusty and break on the lower control arm when you try to remove the bolt. I spray them down with wd40 and heat the J clips up with mapp gas and repeat is necessary. I replace the J clips with a bolt and nut.

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